Fornals: hammer and finesse –

West Ham United he achieved the miracle of surviving the Europa League quarter-final tie. The London team, who left Sevilla out in the previous round, suffered a lot against Olympique de Lyon.

Cresswell was the proper name of the meeting. The East London player was sent off as soon as he came back from the break and the team had to survive the second half. The team’s revolutionary attacker, Jarrod Bowen, managed to make it 1-0 with ten men and withstood the attacks of the Lyonnais. It was Ndombélé, on loan from his rival and neighbor Tottenham, who scored the equalizer.

If they starred in the chronicles for the most informative reasons, Fornals won in the field of opinions. The former Villarreal player was the team commander along with Declan Rice, joining the majority of the team’s possession (4.4 for the Englishman to 3.7 for the Spanish) between the double pivot and the midfielder. This, by playing more advanced, risked more in the pass completing 74% hitting 28 of 38 passes. He looked at the door on one occasion, overcame rivals with dribbles and even worked on defense given the context of the team with a man less signing three recoveries with interceptions and up to four steals. Only on two occasions were the members of the French team able to overcome the one from Castellón de la Plana, who now wields the hammer and marks the beat to which West Ham reverberates, on whose shield those two golden tools shine.


Their meeting served to definitively convince a British football legend like Joe Cole, formerly of Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham among others. “He is a very talented player. He can link between the middle and the defense. He is also doing it in the Moyes way. He is a Spanish player and you don’t play for Spain if you don’t have the best technique. Fornals is very intelligent and does everything well”, assured the now ‘pundit’ on BT Sports. He insisted on highlighting his abilities and analyzed his game. “He scores goals, creates goals and influences the game on both ends of the pitch. He is an old-fashioned box-to-box with fantastic technique. He has done a great job helping when Tete came on,” he added.

“He’s the man of the match,” added Carlton Cole, formerly of the Hammers and also of Chelsea, Wolves and Celtic.

All these sensations of the former players are also endorsed in the ‘laboratories’ of the data and advanced statistics. According to the studies carried out by Olocip, which measures hundreds of variables applied to an algorithm in search of putting football into objective data, Pablo Fornals is the second best midfielder in the Premier League and is in the top 25 of the English League (24) playing outside the Big Six (City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham). Double merit for the one from Castellón who in his position only has one undisputed star ahead of him and who is compared to Eric Cantona, Bruno Fernandes.

According to data offered by Olocip, Fornals is in the top 10 in the game generation, being in the best in previous passes to assists and game changes. His number of hits is also remarkable (12th in the league) and his number of passes in search of advancing meters (13th best). Fornals is also among the top 20 in the English League (15) when it comes to second plays. Mastering a very local art in a football very different from Spanish. Although, although he finished among the best, there are others who bear the brunt of the goal, celebrating six goals this year and giving two assists. A job that attracts attention even if the most basic statistics do not register it.

Fornals has toughened up and has shown his football as valid as it is intense in the revelation team of the Premier League. At 26 years old, Fornals is playing good football, he has gained more physical strength and he wants to knock on the door of the National Team with which he made his debut in 2016. Qatar’s door is still open, but Fornals is preparing the ‘hammer’ to demolish.

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